Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion: Learning About the Importance of Old Time Farming

"Teaching you about your ancestors and how they lived before you did and how technology has improved"

ROLLAG, Minn. — All the clinks and clunks may surprise you, but those noises come with using some old time farming equipment.

“My favorite part of today was riding a tractor,” said Trinity St. Clarre a visitor at the show.

Kids, families and generations of threshermen are reliving the good ol’ days by bringing some old farming traditions back to life.

“My grandfather and his cousins and his brother started this show back in 1954 and I’m 51 years old and I’ve been here every year,” said Brian Nelson, a 3rd generation Nelson family member.

“We try to make demonstrations as real as what we can. See how people 100, 120 years ago, 80 years ago, 60 years ago, lived and had to do these daily jobs in order to survive. We want them to learn and preserve the history, that’s our big thing,” said Peter Mandt, the President of the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher’s Reunion.

Hundreds of pieces of equipment are shown

“This is a working museum,” said Nelson.

People are also getting a hands on experience.

“Teaching you about your ancestors and how they lived before you did and how technology has improved,” said Anna St. Clarre, another visitor.

Many people don’t realize how big of a change the farming industry has gone through.

Organizers of the show say teaching them is key.

“A lot of people don’t quite understand what’s going on with some of this equipment, like a lot of it is pretty old, most of its older than me,” said Katherine Anderson, the 2016-2017 Steam Queen.

This weekend people from all over the world came out to hop on some old equipment and teach people about the roots of farming.

No matter how many times people have come to the show, there is always something new and exciting to see.

“I’ve never seen everything in 51 years. Ya know there are so many little things here and there,” said Nelson.

The goal is for each person to leave a little more educated then they were before they came.

“If we didn’t know the history of our culture and how people lived, our ancestors might not have survived and we might not be here today,” said Matthew St. Clarre, another visitor.


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